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Charles A. Goldman and Diana G. Carew

Governments and employers in many countries are concerned that graduates of higher education institutions are not fully meeting workforce needs, whether in terms of the quantity of graduates in various academic disciplines or in the skills they develop during their higher education studies. Governments can take various political actions to shape degree programme decision-making, including influencing, regulating and offering incentives to promote alignment to workforce development needs. Political and institutional decisions can be informed by a wide variety of workforce data sources. Public statistical data, commercial services, and interactions with employers and individuals all can provide evidence of workforce demand. As data sources improve measurement of the workforce, the authors describe some tools that can model workforce demands and translate them into needs for higher education. These data can be used for strategic planning at the national, state, regional and institutional levels, but the authors’ project work and interviews suggest that such top-down strategic planning is less commonly a source of new programmes compared to bottom-up programme ideas that arise from individual faculty, departments and employer interactions. These institutional processes can be heavily affected by organizational politics. Governments and intuitions could shift toward proactive data use through regular strategic planning.

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Peter Rohan and Kenneth Moore

This chapter explores the landscape of university_industry collaboration (UIC) in Australia. It draws from international rankings and reports on levels of UIC and innovation in multiple countries. According to several indicators, UIC in Australia is comparatively low. Reasons for low UIC have been cited as the country’s incentive structures, industry norms and operational practices, as well as sector alignment of research goals. The chapter includes interview responses from six key stakeholders about their perspectives on problems associated with low levels of UIC in Australia, potential solutions, and whether the solutions are worth the effort. Responses about problems and solutions revolved around five key themes: strategy, structure, processes, capabilities and culture. All interviewees concluded that there is considerable potential for increased levels and more effective UIC in Australia, but responses varied about how much effort should be made to resolve issues. The chapter concludes with a set of suggestions to aid in the process of improving Australia’s UIC landscape.

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Gwilym Croucher and Glyn Davis

Is the position of universities as an admired – and protected – public institution more precarious than ever? Is there a mismatch between government expectations in setting higher education policy and the core role of universities? More than ever, governments articulate the need for higher education – echoing the demands of knowledge-based economies – but cannot control delivery. This chapter examines a tension imbedded in making higher education policy, arising from disharmony over who controls institutions of higher education and who should pay for them. National systems take dramatically different approaches to reconciling incommensurate views of how the benefits flowing from higher education are distributed. Increasingly, the status of universities as privileged spaces for critical enquiry and knowledge production and dissemination is challenged by governments keen use their funding to shape research and teaching. The chapter concludes with a discussion of difficult questions many universities face about their missions and activity, and their efforts to build a greater constituency beyond government.

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Hamish Coates, S. Umesha Weerakkody, Emeline Jerez, Michael Wells and Stefan Popenici

People seek to engage in higher education in ways that will help them to succeed. This means that they need to know what opportunities are available for them, and that education services align with and realize their ambitions. In turn, this means that relevant and sound reports of information about higher education are emerging as a lynchpin for success. This chapter examines how the changing political economy of higher education is shaping new approaches to quality and placing greater value than ever before on student success. It analyses changing supply and demand dynamics, which spur the need for new kinds of reports. It closes by looking at prospects for guiding the required innovation.

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Rui Yang

China is a particularly significant site for the analysis of relationships between higher education and politics. In the Chinese intellectual tradition, ancient universities were entrusted with training bureaucrats who made imperial rule possible. They were organisms of empire. China’s modern universities were established as Western transplants from the late nineteenth century with little linkage to their indigenous roots. The fundamental differences between Chinese and Western ideas of a university have led to continous conflicts, and China’s unique cultural roots and heritages have greatly constrained the functioning of core Western values that underlie the university. China has failed repeatedly to indigenize the Western concept. This is the bottleneck of China’s higher education development. The central purpose of China’s modern higher education is thus to combine Chinese and Western elements. There is a need to understand the relationship between universities and the state in ancient China, and how Chinese higher education institutions have transformed into their present status. Since the theme has been little documented in the English literature, this chapter addresses it to fill in the gap.

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Dorte Kristoffersen, Susanna Lee and Rob Fearnside

Over the last quarter-century higher education (HE) has undergone substantial development, leading to growth in enrollment numbers, diversity of delivery modes and types of courses offered, expansion of the scope of delivery in home-country and internationally and of funding sources. The last 25 years have also seen the rapid development of regulation or quality assurance of HE around the world. Regulatory modes have to reflect the context of the sector that is being regulated at any given time to be effective. Governments are therefore beginning to look at mechanisms that can more effectively manage the scope of and diversity currently present in HE, for example mechanisms that focus on the relative risks of higher education institutions not providing quality HE.

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Manja Klemenčič and Bo Yun Park

This chapter reviews and offers directions for future research on student politics in higher education in different parts of the world. The concept of student politics refers to the activities related to the power relations between students and other social actors inside and outside the higher education systems; more specifically, it pertains to the relationships between students and university authorities, as well as the interactions between students and state officials. In analysing the various forms of student politics, the authors draw a distinction between representation and activism, as two distinct yet interrelated activities. Representation pertains to students organizing into representative student associations, such as student governments, graduate student employee unions, party-affiliated student organizations, or other student interest groups. Activism, on the other hand, denotes practices of student collective action through various forms of political engagement, whereby students act in support of or in opposition to a specific cause and/or hold the authority accountable. The analysis is guided by questions on how the various forms of student politics emerge and how they develop their organizational characteristics and their respective strategic repertoires.

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Brian Pusser

This chapter presents an overview of a state-theoretical approach to understanding the politics of higher education. It presents a historical review of critical theories of the state, with particular attention to contest and hegemony. The civil society is also addressed in historical perspective, with analysis of citizenship, institutional and market forces, and the nature of public and private action within the civil society. Attention is also turned to interests and formations beyond the civil society, to the role of social movements in state contest, to the distinction between the state and government, and to the role of power in understanding contest. The history of scholarship on the politics of higher education is reviewed, with a particular focus on critical approaches and theories of the state. Each of the elements of the state-theoretical conceptual approach are linked to the understanding of education as a central state function, and to universities as political institutions of the state, with examples drawn from historical and contemporary political contests in higher education

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Martina Vukasovic

In light of the growing marketization of higher education and the shift towards corporate-pluralist steering, stakeholders are becoming increasingly important for higher education governance. This chapter specifically focuses on stakeholder organizations and their role in politics and policy of higher education. It discusses basic characteristics of stakeholder organizations and offers two conceptualizations: (1) stakeholder organizations as interest groups involved in particular in agenda-setting and policy formation; and (2) stakeholder organizations as epistemic communities conducive of policy learning that can facilitate implementation. Based on general social science insights from organizational sociology, comparative politics and policy analysis, as well as on recent higher education literature, the chapter presents specific aspects of stakeholder organizations that should be in the focus of further research. This includes their membership characteristics, their legitimacy, position in the policy arena, relationship with other stakeholder organizations at the same or other governance levels, and the extent to which they facilitate policy learning across governance levels.

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Christopher Ziguras

While many features of higher education systems are bounded by the jurisdictional limits of the nation-state, it is clear that contemporary globalization is dramatically heightening the effects of cross-border flows on institutions, scholars, students and governments everywhere. This chapter examines the politics of the provision of higher education across borders, by a university based in one country to a student from another, involving the international mobility of students, institutions, programmes or faculty. This chapter begins by considering the historical roots of cross-border provision in colonial domination and Cold War imperialism, which continue to shape the pattern of engagement and the politics of international education many generations later. Since the end of the Cold War, political dynamics between education-exporting and -importing states have been transformed by massification, marketization and the rise of English as a global language. The chapter explores the ways in which patterns of contemporary cross-border educational flows reflect the political settlements reached between powerful actors in both sending and receiving countries. It concludes by arguing that we need to take seriously the interests of states themselves in the international arena, but also to look beyond the espoused national interests to understand in each case how these reflect the power of various government agencies, universities, political and economic elites and national student movements.